Politics

Nursing home worker who forged residents’ signatures on absentee ballots pleads guilty

A nursing home employee in Center Line who was speculated of forging residents’ signatures on absentee ballot applications in 2020 pleaded guilty this week and is set to serve the first 45 days of her probation sentence in the Macomb County Jail.

Trenae Myesha Rainey, 28-years-old, was charged last year with six felonies, but on Wednesday pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of falsifying statements in an absentee ballot application.

The news comes down from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel who released a statement on Thursday. According to that release, Rainey received her sentence in the 37th District Court to two years of probation, the first 45 days of which will be served in jail. Online jail records show that she was booked into the county jail on Wednesday. 

But Rainey’s attorney, William Hatchett, gave a statement to the Free Press on Thursday and said, “We think the sentence is unjust under the circumstances.”

The Center Line clerk decided to contact the state’s Bureau of Elections in October 2020 once two dozen of the absentee voter applications had been dropped off. In the process of cross-checking the signatures on them with voter signatures in the Qualified Voter File, the clerk determined that the signatures did not match. An investigation began from Nessel’s office in November 2020. 

Investigators said that Rainey, who was an employee at the nursing home, did not contact the residents and instead filled out the applications, forged their signatures, and handed over the applications to another employee to take them to the Center Line clerk.

Nessel noted that this case “highlights the scrutiny applications and ballots undergo throughout the election process to weed out instances of attempted fraud. We will not hesitate to prosecute anyone – regardless of political party – who attempts to undermine our elections.”  

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: FREEP.COM

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